NCAA Basketball Picks: Ohio State vs. Purdue

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 12:38 PM GMT

The Ohio State Buckeyes have compiled a perfect 11-0 record against unranked teams this year, as they prepare to take on the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena Tuesday night. Let’s take a closer look at this Big Ten Conference affair from a NCAAB betting perspective.


Throw it out

Ohio State has been very vocal about moving on from Saturday’s deflating 74-55 setback to the Illinois Fighting Illini as three-point road favorites, as the program dropped to 0-3 on the year against ranked opponents. The Buckeyes have shot a combined 33.6 percent from the floor in two games outside of Columbus, but still rank third in the conference in averaging 76.0 points per game.

Bouncing back

Purdue had its season high three-game win streak snapped in an 84-61 loss to the Michigan State Spartans as 11.5-point home underdogs over the weekend, while going OVER the total for the third time in four opportunities. The Boilermakers are 8-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last 11 games following a straight-up loss, with the UNDER going 4-1 in that particular situation.

Matta dominates conference opponents

Sports bettors are always interested in backing the Buckeyes when listed as single-digit favorites on the NCAA basketball odds page, considering they’ve gone 114-46 during Big Ten play under Thad Matta. Ohio State has also won 14 of 20 meetings in this series since his arrival in Columbus, including two wins a year ago. Tuesday night’s visitor is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 trips to West Lafayette.

Protecting their home court

The Boilermakers are 48-14 in conference play at Mackey Arena during the Matt Painter era, which has led directly to a money-making 22-12 ATS record when playing at home over the last two-plus seasons. Purdue is lethal at this venue when the NCAAB betting lines are listed at 135 to 139.5, as it has won all 10 games in that situation, while posting a 9-0-1 ATS mark.

Craft and Thomas can’t do it all

Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas are the unquestionable leaders on the Buckeyes, as they played a major part in the program’s run in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The duo combined to score 35 points last time out, but no other player on the roster managed to score in double figures, which is a major reason why Ohio State has scored just 123 total points in two true road games this year.

[gameodds]14/176935/93-43-19-999996-198-238/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the UNDER is 3-0 in the Boilermakers last three opportunities when playing a game with a total between 135 to 139.5. The Buckeyes have also fallen short of the number in four of their last five games versus a team with a winning home record.

College Basketball Pick: Under 135 Bookmaker